President Joe Biden will reverse former President Donald Trump’s policy to require immigrants to have the means to pay for health care so they would not rely on government programs, he said during a meeting with so-called Dreamers on Friday.
Fox News reported on the policy reversal:
The 2019 order denied visas to those seeking entry into the U.S. who were deemed a “financial burden” on the health care system. Biden, in a proclamation announcing the rollback, said the policy did not “advance the interests” of the nation.
The Trump order did not apply to immigrants who already live in the U.S. or to lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylum-seekers or children.
Biden has rolled back a number of Trump-era immigration policies in his first few months in office, moves that some say have contributed to a surge in migrants at the southern border, including border wall construction, increased interior enforcement and the Migrant Protection Protocols, which kept migrants in Mexico while they awaited their hearings.
“My Administration is committed to expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare,” Biden’s proclamation states. “We can achieve that objective, however, without barring the entry of non-citizens who seek to immigrate lawfully to this country but who lack significant financial means or have not purchased health insurance coverage from a restrictive list of qualifying plans.”
“Hospitals and other providers often administer care to the uninsured without any hope of receiving reimbursement from them,” Trump’s White House explained at the time, saying:
The costs associated with this care are passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services … The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants who come lawfully in search of brighter futures. We must continue that tradition while also addressing the challenges facing our healthcare system, including protecting both it and the American taxpayer from the burdens of uncompensated care.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 178,622 migrants trying to enter the U.S. in April, a 3 percent increase from approximately 172,000 in March, the highest number of encounters in two decades.
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